Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

49ers-Cowboys: O-line injuries moving Justin Skule to guard, forcing other tough decisions

Dec 18, 2020 at 9:02 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line is ailing. Daniel Brunskill has been limited in practice this week due to a shoulder injury. Center Hroniss Grasu hasn't practiced due to a knee injury. Rookie Colton McKivitz is on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Tom Compton is on injured reserve due to a concussion.

Some of that means that Justin Skule will move to guard for this weekend's Week 15 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. He had been working as the 49ers' swing tackle.

"We've got five guys left who have played for us before," head coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "Obviously, I think you can guess who those five are because they're the only guys who have played for us. McKivitz being on the COVID list and everything is tough because technically, he was our third guard up this year, so you don't really have a fourth one.

"So, we've got Skule left, who's played, and he's been out at tackle, but he'll end up getting some guard work this week. He got one week of it in training camp, so that was his only time being there before on a couple of practices. But we're throwing him in there this week. He's gotten two practices. He knows what to do, looked good in practice, and (we) feel good to go with him."

Shanahan is hoping nothing else comes up. His team has been devastated by injuries this season, and the league's COVID-19 protocols make bringing in help more difficult than usual.

"I hope we don't have any more things come up because it's hard to get guys in this time of year because they've got to quarantine for six days," Shanahan explained. "They've got to go through all the testing, so you can't just sign guys right away. So, we've got two new practice squad guys on our team, and we'll see by tomorrow night, which one learns the offense the best and can function in case of a couple of injuries, and we'll make sure he dresses for the game."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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